Glenmaggie levels rising

Lake Glenmaggie is showing signs of improvement, after slow but steady inflows from snow melt and rain.
Lake Glenmaggie is showing signs of improvement, after slow but steady inflows from snow melt and rain.

DESPITE a tough season and continuing dry conditions, Lake Glenmaggie has begun to fill, and Southern Rural Water has announced an opening allocation of 45 per cent for Macalister Irrigation District customers this season.

Lake Glenmaggie had fallen to a low of six per cent when the 2018-19 season ended on May 15.

The low level exposed some of the historic features of the former township, not seen since 2007.

Since May, rain and snow melt in the upper catchment have brought the storage back up to 25 per cent, exactly the same volume as in early July 2018.

SRW water supply east manager Gavin Prior said this demonstrated how consistent the catchment could be.

On Thursday morning Lake Glenmaggie was at 27.6 per cent full and rising.

Mr Prior said it was still "one of the most reliable storages in Australia".

SRW also holds a drought reserve in the Thomson Dam, of currently 33,400 megalitres.

"This means we can provide a higher opening allocation for customers, allowing them to plan water use for the coming season," he said.

Mr Prior said SRW had experienced another year of high demand, successfully delivering 100 per cent of high reliability and 35 per cent of low reliability water to customers in the MID.

Despite having no spill entitlement from Lake Glenmaggie last year, the system delivered 176,945 megalitres, which was only 12,000 megalitres less than the 2017-18 record volume.

Mr Prior said it was not unusual for the opening allocation to begin low, particularly given the high deliveries and low storage level at the end of last season.

The allocation is reviewed fortnightly throughout the season, and is adjusted to take into account future rainfall and inflows into the storage.

The short to medium-term outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology suggests a drier than average winter and spring.

Mr Prior said that with a drier than average outlook and last year's tough season fresh in people's minds, it was a good idea to complete a water use plan and consider water needs early.

"We encourage any customers who feel they will need more water this season to consider buying our shelf-price water shares or trade water via our Watermatch page," he said.